Q&A: Arizona CTO Jason Simpson Is on the Front Line of Statewide Cloud Migration

Q&A: Arizona CTO Jason Simpson Is on the Front Line of Statewide Cloud Migration 1024 356 C-Suite Network

Despite the state’s sunny skies, Arizona is setting out to be a trailblazer in cloud adoption.

Last May, Arizona launched a cloud-first initiative that requires state agencies to shift their IT resources and operations to the cloud. Now, the state is beginning to put those cloud-first principles into practice, discussing at its last public meeting the need to migrate its current mainframe for the Department of Administration to the cloud. The change will provide “enhanced capabilities, enhanced uptime during system maintenance, and a robust Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity capability,” according to the meeting’s agenda.

On the front line of cloud migration is Arizona’s Chief Technology Officer Jason Simpson, who recently spoke with StateTech about the benefits of cloud computing, how the state is making the move and what it takes to make a statewide move to the cloud a priority.

STATETECH: Can you begin by outlining what a cloud-first strategy means for the state? Why have you implemented one?

SIMPSON: The state implemented a cloud-first strategy for three specific reasons: better resiliency, larger cost savings and increased security. We are challenging agencies to look for cloud solutions before they look for on-premises solutions.

Historically, agencies have purchased solutions that are on-premises without having the capacity to maintain them at the required levels. These solutions, such as our state data center, quickly become outdated and very expensive to maintain. The top cloud providers can offer cost-effective solutions with more security, which remains a top priority for the state.

STATETECH: Can you specifically speak to the state’s decision to migrate the current mainframe for the Department of Administration to the cloud?

SIMPSON: Maintaining a mainframe can be extremely difficult…